I thought I’d have a go at a Vlog type video, me waffling on about whatever comes into my head. I don’t make an appearance… only comfortable with the voiceJust consider it radio with a few pictures attached. I do have a feeling that I’m probably chatting away to myself here, but even if just one person finds it at all vaguely interesting, then that would make me feel very happy. It’s a tentative start.
In time I hope to find a rhythm making these vlogs. I am a very shy, introverted bod and find this a little scary, but I’d like to push myself into being more confident and comfortable with being authentic in the world and not caring too much about making a fool of myself.
I’m keen to learn what interests folk and discover what I can offer. I’m not the most experienced illustrator out there, but at 58, I have spent a considerable amount of time struggling with my art and with attempting to get to grips creating artwork on my pc and hope I can offer up a little knowledge and share the things that I’ve discovered through trial and error with others who are interested.
Here’s a list of random things that interest me… subjects that I’d like to include in future vlogs. I’d be so delighted if you would share your stories, thoughts and experiences or ask me questions on any of the following:
Life as a self-employed creative🧑🎨
Scrivener and self-publishing 📕
Vintage children’s books, especially Puffin books🐧
Modelling in clay
Industrial archaeology ⚒️
Plants and wildlife in my area🍄
Walking and exploring Welsh landscapes 🥾
Making little films🎥
Spooky stories 👻
Where should I go with these vlog type videos? I’m not sure, but I do want to have a go.
Your input would really help me shape future vlogs, so please don’t be shy, leave your comment below or on YouTube and I’ll include it in a future vlog.
Thank you, for reading to the end! x
I've been having fun with my new YouTube channel. Early days, but I'm adding content and learning all the time. Here are a few little films:
I would love it if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel, comment and 'like' if you want to see more content. Maybe suggest a video if you know what you'd like to see me make a film about.
Dulce como un te quiero written by Marina Montero and published by Penguin Random House España. ISBN: 978-84-488-3941-3
Here are the illustrations I created for the book back in 2014
El oso chiquitín se desperezó aún adormilado y bostezó dos veces. Olfateó el aire buscando el aroma del desayuno y fue entonces cuando se preguntó por primera vez qué era aquel olor que le envolvía allá donde estuviese.
El oso chiquitín y el oso grandote salieron de la madriguera en busca de aquel olor tan especial. Y en el bosque olía a resina, y a miel, y a avellanas y a lluvia, y a fuego... pero ninguno de esos era el olor que buscaba el oso chiquitín.
Más tarde, cuando la luna asome por el horizonte y el oso chiquitín se acurruque soñoliento en los cálidos brazos del oso grandote, descubrirá que el aroma del amor es dulce como un te quiero.
Little bear, still sleepy, stretched and yawned twice. He sniffed the air for the smell of breakfast. What was that smell that enveloped him? Little bear and Big bear leave the den and go in search of a very special aroma. They discover many smells- tree resin, hazelnuts, honey, apples, rain, and fire ... but none of these are the right smell. Evening, when the moon peeks over the horizon and the Little bear snuggles sleepily in the warm arms of the big bear, he realises that it wasn't really a smell he was sensing, it was the sweetest thing of all - love!
It's Snorey Time written by neuro-linguistics expert Catherine Pybus together with her poet mother Meg. "It's Snorey time" uses advanced language patterns to help send children to sleep.
Meet the Snoreys - Mummy, Daddy, Mop, Snuggle, Snuffle and Pignut. This family of dormice love to sleep, all except the youngest, Pignut. Instead, he goes on an adventure around the forest and discovers the dormouse-written 'Secret Book of Sleep'. Reading it, Pignut finally drops off. Underlying this delightful tale is a secret weapon for exhausted parents - the story is written using simple neurolinguistic techniques, designed to have a soporific effect on the listener. Also includes an audio version of the tale.
Here are the character sketches I did for It's Snorey Time. I think that it's a real shame that these characters weren't carried over into a book series.
Happy New Year to you, whoever you are! Let's crack on with the blog posts for 2021!
Character study sketches number five- Charlie and Farley (Farley's the pooch).
There were two Charlie and Farley books. 'The Temple of the Monkey King' and 'The Island of Dinosaurs'. Now, sadly, out-of-print. I'd love to work on a title like this again, it was so much fun hiding all the dinosaurs and the monkeys throughout the two books.
Number four of my character studies for published books. Today I've plumped for the crazy duo- Big Brown Bear and Little Koala Bear from 'If Big Can... I can' written by Beth Shoshan. It was published way back in 2006 by Meadowside Children's Books. My first picture book gig! I can remember how anxious and excited I was at that time. I'd never even attempted to illustrate a full picture book before, but I struggled through with the help of the hugely talented Mark Mills. Mark was art director at Meadowside at that time, just before he left and set up Plum Pudding Illustration... my agents.
The sketch above... just for laughs, obviously my characters don't visit pubs :oD "I'll have a pint, and short for my little friend here."
And below from the finished art...
Number three of my character design series of posts, today it's squirrels for the title: 'Welcome to the World!' written by Helen Foster James and published by Sleeping Bear Press.
Although this is an American book, I’ve based all of the characters on European wild animals, because I really wanted to do red squirrels. They are such lovely colourful little creatures with tufty ears... great fun to draw and paint.
As well as character designs, I sometimes have to show the publisher how I imagine the surroundings will look. Some things were changed in the final art, but the basic ideas remained.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of the book you can find links here...
I'll be selling off some of the book's pencil drawings plus these pencil sketches in the new year. If you subscribe to my newsletter email (you'll find the form on this page) I'll let you know as soon as they are available to buy from my online store.
If you’d like to know about new posts, new books or new items in my store you can subscribe to my email newsletter (you’ll find the sign up form on this page) and follow me on Pinterest.
Here's the second in my 'Character Studies' posts. Today: the bear family from 'Hush Little Baby' published by Tiger Tales way back in 2007.
At the start of most projects I have to show the publisher (and myself) how I'm going to portray the main characters in the book.
I seem to remember, when I attempted these sketches, I limited the time I could spend over each page... timed myself against the clock, because I didn't want to obsess over them too much. I have a really bad habit of spending hours trying to perfect characters and end up with them looking stiff and lacking any life. So, I half closed my eyes, concentrated hard and went for it! They are extremely rough, but I managed to create a cute ursine family that I could work with.
Here are a couple of the finished illustrations. You can see I stuck pretty much to those first rushed sketches. Back then I was working in watercolour and colour pencils on rough watercolour paper.
I’ve just discovered Redbubble have started doing aprons... they look great quality!
I’ve quickly added my existing designs as I think they’d make fabulous Christmas pressies. It seems like they’d deliver in time too.
I think the pig apron would suit me best. I need it for eating as well as cooking 😋
If you’re interested in snapping one up for a Christmas present click the images to take you to the relevant store page on Redbubble.
When I start a project for a publisher I first have to come up with a few character designs. Over the next few weeks I thought I'd post some of my favourites. Today it's dragons!
The book: 'Deri Dan Y Daliwr Dreigiau' by Haf Llewelyn, a welsh language book. You can find out more here>
A warm hello to whoever is reading this. Welcome to Petra's blog. I'm an illustrator and writer of children's books and keen amateur photographer. I enjoy living in North Wales with my wonderful partner and fellow adventurer, Iain.
Working as an artist and writer can be extremely challenging financially. If you like my work you can show support and help me to keep on creating children's books by buying my art. For signed originals or prints, cards... all kinds of merchandise. Check out my shop :o)